Rethinking theory and practice: Pre-registration student nurses experiences of simulation teaching and learning in the acquisition of clinical skills in preparation for practice

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Abstract

In the United Kingdom (UK) simulation learning has been recognised in the form of a regulatory agreement that may replace hours from clinical practice. This integration has become an embedded feature of the pre-registration nursing programme at a University in the North of England, along with strategic investment in staff and simulation suites developed to underpin this curriculum change albeit in the absence of sparse empirical evidence, hence the rationale for the study which was designed to explore the relationship between simulation, theory and practice. The study features a thematic analysis of evaluation questionnaires from pre-registration student nurses (n=>500) collected over a 2 year period which informed subsequent focus group interviews to explore the themes in more detail. Consistent data findings were the students' positive response to simulation as a learning approach facilitating the application of theory in a safe controlled environment. Students reported that they felt prepared for practice, recognising that simulated learning improved their humanistic and problem solving abilities as well as the development of psychomotor, technical skills, and overall confidence. The theory-practice gap is a recurring narrative in the nursing literature, the findings of this study recognises that simulation offers an opportunity to enact the integration of theory and practice illuminating this relationship in a controlled environment thus, reinforcing the theory-practice relationship for nursing students.

LanguageEnglish
Pages711-715
Number of pages5
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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Clinical Competence
Controlled Environment
Teaching
nurse
Nurses
Learning
Students
simulation
Nursing
nursing
theory-practice
learning
experience
Aptitude
student
Nursing Students
Focus Groups
England
Curriculum
theory of integration

Cite this

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